Some useful advice on how to pick a financial adviser

12 February, 2019 | Posted By: Michael Doherty

IF your car breaks down you can put on your overalls, dive under the bonnet and try to get it going again.

Most of us prefer to call a mechanic and sensible folk will get the vehicle regularly serviced, so it doesn’t break down in the first place.

The same rules apply to managing your finances. You can do it yourself. And when things go wrong you can call for help - from, maybe, an accountant or a banker. But if you want your financial affairs to run smoothly it is wise to have an adviser on board.

This is particularly important for ex-pats who need to secure and grow their wealth to achieve a particular lifestyle.

Unfortunately, the experience of some ex-pats in this regard has not been good. Poorly trained individuals, calling themselves financial advisers, have gambled with their clients’ money, recommending high risk funds while failing to properly diversify their portfolios.

And here’s where the car analogy - like the car itself - breaks down. If a garage makes a mess of your vehicle you can take it somewhere else and get it fixed. But if a financial adviser loses your money there is no-one who can get it back for you.

So when you choose an adviser, make your choice with care. Here are a few guidelines to follow.

Know what you want

What are your main goals? Do you want to retire at 55? Are you saving for a luxury house and a yacht? What about private education for your children? Is health care a big concern? A good financial adviser will help you achieve your goals but only you know what they are. Be clear in your mind before you talk.

Is the advice impartial?
How do the advisers earn their money?
An adviser who is paid a commission may steer you in a particular direction. Independent financial planners don’t get a cut from life insurers or fund companies.

Check qualifications
Look for a financial adviser who is a certified financial planner (CFP). They will be licensed and regulated and their staff fully trained.

The adviser should
discuss your goals and objectives and explain what you can expect from the relationship. A diligent financial adviser will investigate the products or services they recommend and closely supervise any staff working with you.

Get personal
At your first meeting, find out whether you are entitled to ongoing advice or reviews of your products and whether you will have to pay additional fees for these. A sign of a good adviser is that they will want to talk to you about your personal circumstances rather than just the products they are investing in. You want someone who understands your lifestyle, requirements and attitude to risk, and will translate these into appropriate decisions.

Regular reviews
A good adviser will agree at the outset to conduct regular reviews. The number and timing of reviews will depend on your circumstances, but it is important to agree on a way to check your progress.

Flexible friends
You pick advisers for the long-term, but their advice will change. Will they keep you informed about new opportunities for investment and customise products to meet your unique needs?

All options
If you are an expat working outside the UK, or if you have chosen to retire here in Cyprus, the Woodbrook Group can help you to achieve your investment goals and objectives.
Woodbrook offers comprehensive financial planning and investment consultancy services. We begin by learning about each client’s financial position and where they would like to be in the future. Once we understand your objectives, we look at all the options available. Our philosophy is to build a long-term relationship with our clients, keeping them always in control of their investments.
Woodbrook is fully licensed and compliant with all regulations. Woodbrook Group is passported through the EEA, including the UK.

Woodbrook recently received the confirmation from the FCA to keep its passporting and continue operating under the Temporary Permission regime after Brexit.
We are not owned by any financial institution or life insurance company. This makes us different from the majority of financial advisory companies and means we offer you unbiased and impartial advice.